Translution Translution Pro
If you've ever tried to use free online translation tools to converse with foreigners, you'll have realised how inadequate they are. Translution offers a much better service that integrates with Outlook.
You can pick the language for each recipient as you send a mail or add this information to your contacts book so that the process is automatic. The software translates between English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and more languages will be added later. As each recipient's language is specified in their contact entry, you can write a single email and send it to speakers of different languages. We tested the French and German translation on a Shopper writer who speaks both, and the results were impressive.
The grammar was excellent and the translated text more natural than the free tools can manage. However, the quality of the translation relies on the grammatical quality of the original, so you have to be careful when writing your emails. As well as the translation, the recipient gets a copy of the original message. If they also have Translution, the program uses the original for any subsequent translations - if, say, they forward the message on. This prevents horrible multiple-translation errors.
If an email isn't translated on arrival, you can convert it manually by sending the email through Translution's servers. However, as the service spoofs your email address to make it look as if the email's from you, our spam filter blocked it.
Translution integrates with Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer. This is done on the fly and the results appear in the original application; we wish manual email translation was as neatly integrated. The program can also mark up text as Do Not Translate, which is handy for technical documents.
This is a brilliant tool for anyone who does a lot of foreign correspondence. There's a free version for those who need only the occasional translation.